MHG748 - Mound, Knock Stanger


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Type and Period (2)

  • MOUND (Undated)
  • (Alternate Type) CAIRN (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

Knock Stanger (Brough) (NR) OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed. (1909)

'A Pictish cairn, half covered with sand and overgrown with bent. It is wholly entire. At its base sand-blow sometimes exposes a circle of small stones set on edge which a well-known antiquary who was in the district some years ago pronounced to be an ancient grave, and said that it would probably contain cists or human remains.' Name Book 1873.

'A high sandy mound on the summit of which there appears to be a cairn. The whole is overgrown with bents, but the diameter of the cairn seems to be about 55ft, and its elevation 11 or 12ft. It does not appear to have been excavated.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

A mound of stones and grass covered with bent and situated on top of a knoll, much of it eroded by the stream to the E. The mound measures about 17.0m in diameter and is some 3.6m high. The top has been mutilated but nothing has been revealed except a scatter of stones. Probably the remains of a cairn.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (NKB) 27 November 1964.

Knock Stanger (NAT) Cairn (NR) OS 6"map, (1967)

A very short stretch of drystone wall running ESE-WNW round the foot of Cnoc Stanger was identified during excavation of NC96NE 9 in 1980, and it appears to have been built at an interlude in the formation of dune sand on the skirts of the mound. Its purpose and wider contexts are unknown but it appears to indicate activity concerning the mound in the relatively recent past.
The mound is about 18m in diameter and 4m high, composed of dune sand with a substantial body of stone also present. It has been cut into by the westward movement of the ravine of the Sandside Burn, which has moved quite considerably within living memory. Eight to ten feet are considered to have been swept away in the seven years to July 1979. Info from TS of R J Mercer excavation report, May 1981 and from R Gourlay, Highland Region Archaeology.

Cnoc Stanger is a consolidated sand dune. The summit is disturbed by trenching and some stone is apparent here and on the upper slopes of the dune, but there are insufficient remains to classify these stones as a cairn. An absence of stone in the rapidly eroding E side may indicate that the stones on the summit were merely a minor surface feature, ie. a sea mark.
Visited by OS (N K B) 8 November 1981.

See 1996 PSAS article for 1981-2 excavation work at Cnoc Stanger by R. Mercer. <1>

Pottery sherds, possibly from Cnoc Stanger, are held by Caithness Horizons. <2>

Sources/Archives (8)



Grid reference Centred NC 9598 6524 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC96NE
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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